Washing the dishes.
My time to slow down, focus on my breathing and where I am, now. I run through the inventory … body discomforts, mental anxieties, and an aching soul. I do not make the time to meditate as much as I need, but the dishes need to be washed. With warm water flowing over my hands, I find peace in the present moment.
On this day I look out the window above my kitchen sink and expect to see not much of anything. Yet, there he is … a man standing across the street. He is not looking my way, but up the street to my left. He is focused on something and I find my distraction.
He stands tall and still. I look closer and catch his smile as he continues to look out of my view. Simple and comfortable he stands in blue jeans, green tee-shirt and well used brown boots. Shoulder length dirty blond hair and close-cropped beard. He could be one of the endless tech scene workers I see each day working in the City.
Soon a man walks into view pushing a bicycle. He shakes his head as he shakes my new friend’s hand. I am drawn deeper, my distraction complete. My new friend’s smile never waivers and actually grows deeper as he talks to this new actor entering from stage left.
They turn their attention to the bicycle and my friend gets to work. Out of nowhere he finds a wrench and begins to tighten and loosen parts of the bike while showing his friend what he is doing. Minutes later it is time for another test flight and soon the bicycle and his rider disappear from my sight. Yet this man, standing tall and confident outside my window, watches the bicycle and its rider with a smile that never waivers.
I wait as well for the bicycle to return good as new, but from stage left the walker returns with bike in tow. With a smile and confident stance, my new friend pats his student on the shoulder and gets back to work with more adjustments to the bicycle. The scene repeats with another test ride and this time the rider swoops by on his once dead bike, alive and well. My friend greets his friend and reviews the adjustments he made to the bicycle.
I can imagine his words, “I will not be here with you next time you have trouble with your bicycle. Stay confident and follow what I taught you. You will never stop riding and wherever I am, I will smile.”
A simple bicycle repair. Nothing more.
Yet, as the curtain drops on this scene outside my kitchen window, my thoughts linger on what I witnessed. I admire how this man carried himself with a quiet confidence and treated a simple bike repair as the most important task possible. He is a teacher and a friend. No issue is too small, nor is any issue too large.
After a final hug of friendship and gratitude my new friend gets into his car, an old, faded red Volvo wagon, and drives off stage right. I wonder where he will go next and hope for his return to the stage outside my kitchen window.
I turn off the water and dry my hands. Dishes washed, meditation complete.